Housing statistics show all three cities outpace the state averages
by Tina Tidmore
Trussville experienced tremendous growth in population from 2000 to 2010, but that growth was partially from annexation, which is where Clay and Pinson saw much of their population growth in the same time period.
Trussville Councilman Buddy Choat, who works with the Grow Trussville Committee to attract businesses to the downtown area, said he noticed the businesses are interested in the number of rooftops close to the area.
They started putting together the demographic figures two years ago, when the economy “bottomed out.” He said they wanted to have the information ready to take advantage of the opportunities as business activity started growing again.
The total housing units in Trussville in 2000 was 5,209. The count as of 2010 was 7,667. Also telling is that 8.4 percent of the houses in Trussville were built in 2005 or later.
Both Clay and Pinson also saw housing units added at a higher rate than the state as a whole since 2004.
Michael Ciamarra, a local resident and policy consultant to Montgomery legislators, said businesses look at home ownership rates to see how stable the city is. They also want to know if it is a vibrant and robust area. To that end, they look at how many houses have been built recently, Ciamarra said.
However, they look at surrounding areas in addition to a prospective city. This is the approach Pinson Councilman Joe Cochran takes in attracting businesses to that city. “We also open across county lines because we view Pinson as part of a larger overall shopping district,” Cochran said.
In addition to population and household income average, businesses also look at median housing value, Cochran said. By that criteria, Pinson, Clay and Trussville also rate higher than the state average.
All three cities have a lower percentage than the state average in the multi-unit housing number(apartment buildings). In that category, Pinson had the lowest of the three cities.
Clay Councilwoman Becky Johnson, who reports on business interests in the council meetings, said she does not know what census figures would be useful in attracting businesses.
She said that she is now working to come up with a list of census figures to use. Now that the economic downturn is lifting, there is more opportunity to attract businesses than there was two years ago, said Johnson.